Saturday, January 31, 2009

Dorothy Ann Park

Dorothy Ann Park Head, 85, passed away peacefully in her sleep on January 25, 2009 after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer's disease. Dorothy was born in Orem, Utah on April 14, 1923 to Dean and Bertha Park. She married Richard V. Hanseen in the Salt Lake LDS Temple, in June of 1944.They had three children, Richard (Betty), Paul, and Robyn (Robert Curtis). Then in August 1952, she lost her love and eternal companion to a heart condition caused by Rheumatic Fever. Five years later she met the second love of her life, Dr. Robert W. Head (Bob). They were married in November 1957, and had three more children, Robert (Nancy), Julie(John McDonald), and Randy (Rochele). In 1958, she welcomed into her home her 6-month old niece, Jennifer (Stephen Goldstein), after her sister Lou Jean and husband Melvin Nimer were tragically taken from this life. Her home would often swell from seven children to nine, as she opened her heart and home to Bob's boys from a previous marriage, Michael and Christopher. In 1980 she lost Bob, after a short but valiant battle with cancer. She truly believed in the words of Thoreau that "If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours." She was an active member of the LDS church. She loved the Lord and grew in her understanding and knowledge of the gospel and loved serving the Lord in many callings.Dorothy was preceded in death by both of her husbands, sister Lou Jean Nimer, brother Richard Park, her parents, and her grandson David Curtis. She is survived by her brother Russell Park, her children, 21 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
My Grandma Head was an incredible woman. She was extremely talented and creative, as hardworking as they come, and is a true example of enduring to the end. I am grateful to have known her and feel lucky to be her granddaughter.
I remember a few funny things about my grandma that set her apart from the typical grandma. First, she was a bit of a health nut and rather than having freshly baked cookies for us, she served whole wheat crackers and trail mix (the kind lacking in m&ms). I was ok with that, I just picked out the pieces of dried pineapple. Yum. My grandma had to have been the most glamorous of all grandmas. I look at her pictures and realize how much I would love to wear what she was wearing. She had inpecable taste and it carried from her wardrobe to her home. My grandma designed and built a beautiful home in Mt. Olympus Cove (that is east of Holladay for those non-Salt Lakers). With the Architectural Digest by her side, she had every room decorated to perfection.
One of my favorite memories is getting to play in her bathroom. First of all, it was absolutely enormous! Secondly, she kept a drawer of all of her old make-up that we were allowed to use. What else could a girl want? ...Ok wait, I wonder if maybe the drawer wasn't necessarily for play, she just didn't get mad at me when I got caught. Either way, a very sweet grandma, indeed.
I love you Grandma.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Fashionista and Fashionisto

Roman still prefers to be totally naked, but Capri is becoming obsessed with clothes...totally "fitting" isn't it?! Ha ha. Anyway, one of the first fashion needs was a hoodie. I had taken the kids to the park and all of a sudden the wind picked up so I put their hoodies on. As soon as it would fall off, Capri would start to she screams...until I put it back on.
Roman likes his hoodie too!Hello sweetie!Next up...the footed onesie pajama tied around the waist...nice. There is a story to this one so please bear with me. One morning I decided to wash some things in the big sink in our laundry room. I started the water and somehow got distracted. It could have been a million things considering I have two of the most active almost 2 year olds! So, having completely forgotten about the sink, I was quite surprised when I stepped into an inch of water! AAAHHHH! As I was getting towels out, the twins came in as giddy as ever. Water, an absolute favorite to splash in, so you can imagine how upset they were when we started soaking it all up with the beach towels. They were so upset, in fact, that we had to take them outside to cool off. Unfortunately, it was already 80 degrees outside so we made do...
I love Roman's diaper peeking through! And check out the towels from my little mishap in the background:This shows Capri's favorite fashion accessory, her tutu. And I call it an accessory only because she wears it in addition to whatever else she has on that day. Sometimes she wins and gets to wear it to the store. Good thing she is as cute as ever in it!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Some Sweet Stuff from Santa

I wanted to post an update of what the fam was doing these past few weeks and realized it had lots to do with what Santa brought for Christmas. The new favorite activity for the twins is to take a ride in the wagon. They absolutely love everything about the wagon, from the little door to the seat flap that opens for storage. If I leave it in the house they climb in and out for hours...ok, so maybe 20 minutes, but that's pretty long for Roman and Capri to be entertained. All I have to say is "let's get in the wagon," and they come running. Fun stuff and I highly recommend it for any toddler. My favorite present would have to be my piano. I actually got it back in November so that I could practice some fun Christmas songs. I absolutely love it and although I was hesitant about getting a digital piano, it has been perfect with the twins around. I can actually turn the sound off-what a novel idea. Plus, the only time I can practice is when the kids are asleep and so I just put on my headphones and no one can hear me. That is good for other reasons as well! I stopped playing years ago and I would be lying if I said I didn't regret the decision, but I am determined to regain some of those skills. Any ideas for fun music?
Tucker got some new running shoes...not fun at all, I know, but he has put them to good use already. Way to go sweetheart! The funny thing is, he has worn the same type of shoe, the gel kayano asics, for the past 5 years which makes this Christmas present quite boring. Sorry! We all joined him for a run on the beach last week and had a great time. My dad ran circles around us, literally-he ran 7 miles when the rest of us did the 5 and a half and he was still faster, but Tucker stuck around with me and we thoroughly enjoyed the scene at the beach and under the sun. Once we were done, we got the kids out and they got to show us the most incredible and fascinating objects they! "Daddy, I have to show you something I found...""Wow! Check that one out-it's round and hard!"Me and my little, but not so little, brother Jon:Roman absolutely loves sand it sand loves Roman...we find it everywhere!Me and my hubby...and no, there won't be any pictures of my dad because he was too busy running!The both of us have continued to enjoy our Nintendo Brainage game (check previous Cancun post) and are thoroughly addicted. I scored a serious record of completing a sudoko game in 3 minutes and 29 seconds. I am awesome. And yet, I couldn't identify every state on a map of the US-we are looking for a geography game now. So, if you notice a lack in posts, you know why-lots of toys to play with!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Passport Pandemonium!

I can't believe I posted about Cancun and forgot my horrible passport drama. I guess it deserves its own post anyway. So get this, I already had a current passport but Tucker needed his renewed and the twins both needed new passports. I went through the incredible ordeal of getting their passports taken care of and shipped to Tucker's parents just to be on the safe side. Now remember what I had to pack at this point. Warm clothes, coats and blankets for freezing Utah for the twins, Tucker and I (Tucker doesn't like to pack and I like the control of packing). Separate suitcases included summer clothes and swimsuits for all of us to go to Cancun straight from Utah. On top of that, we had Christmas presents, wrapping necesseties and other stuff. Needless to say, there was a lot for me to think about.
So, Friday afternoon rolls around and Tucker is starting to set tickets and passports he had received from his parents aside to get ready for the next morning. He asks me for mine and it finally hits me...I forgot my freaking passport! It was 3:30PM on a Friday and we were supposed to leave by 6:00 the next morning. What in the world was I supposed to do?! To say I was frantic would be a ridiculous understatement.
We start doing our best to come up with solutions. Calling the airlines, the airport, fedex, checking online for passport info...we searched everywhere for a way out of this dilemma. Tucker then came up with the idea to have me fly back to San Diego to get my passport and then fly to Cancun from there to meet up with the rest of the fam. He would be ok to take the twins because his parents were on the same flight so one of them could hold Roman or Capri, right? Wrong. Not allowed. We would have had to buy Capri her own ticket if we didn't have a signed and notarized document explaining that I was giving permission for someone else to hold her. Insane! That left us with buying Capri a ticket and buying me a new ticket from San Diego to Cancun AND from Cancun back to Utah. Lots of money for what was supposed to be a free trip.
Just when we thought we were totally screwed and staying home, Cody and Cheri thought of a brilliant idea. Why don't we have one of Richard's friends from San Diego, pick up the passport and bring it here? We asked Richard if there was anyone planning on coming back to Utah after the holidays anyway, but there wasn't anyone! Knew that was too good to be true. But wait, he calls his friend Megan who lives in SD and asks if she would do it. She had no plans on coming here it Utah, but she does have friends here from her BYU days and maybe she would be interested. I felt awful even asking her because I adore her. Megan is incredibly sweet and I didn't want her to feel obligated. At the same time, I was desperate and she was my only hope. Richard gives her call and she agreed to this mad plan.
She had 45 minutes to pack and get over to my house to pick up the passport in order to get to the airport on time. You think it ends there. Nope! Once she got to my house, Megan (with the help of her dad, thank heavens) had to break a window leading into the garage. It was already cracked, but they had to break it through and then pick out as much of the glass as possible so the dear girl wouldn't cut something open as she maneuvered up and over the window. Amazing. She made it on the plane in the nick of time with my passport in hand. She called to let us know and I started to cry...for like the 3rd time that day. I don't remember ever feeling so much relief. Thank you Megan and I owe you big seriously big.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Cancun, Mexico

Lame title, I know. The trip, however, was anything but. We had a fabulous time spending the week in the sun with Tucker's family. We stayed at an all inclusive resort called The Great Parnassus and though I wouldn't recommend it (let's just say Great might be stretching it), our group had so much fun. Most our time was spent at the beach and pool...duh...where we soaked up some sun, played in the sand, colored (weird, but Capri wasn't really loving the sand or the loud waves so she got out the crayons on the lounge California girl, right?), did quite a bit of swimming and splashing and ate hamburgers and french fries poolside.
It wasn't exactly your typical relaxing vacation now that there are the four of us; thoughts of sunscreen, angry waves, rip currents, sand in all orifices, more sunscreen and even drowning were running through my mind constantly. Don't we love being parents? And yet, it was a total blast to have our little family, along with cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents, playing together and really enjoying just being together. To top it off, sweet Susie, Tucker's mom, offered to watch the little ones during their naps so Tuck and I could get some serious R and R. Lovely. Some time to sit and listen to the waves while reading my book. Aaaahhhh.
My kids did really well on the trip, especially in regards to the dreaded plane rides and potential sleepless nights. They were awesome on the plane (thank you personal DVD players) and slept through every night-WOW! The hardest part for them was eating and I can't say I blamed them. This is where the resort was a bit of a let down and that was FOOD! Not only was it pretty bad, but they took over an hour to bring it out. Seriously? I have two 20 month-olds sitting in "high chairs" that have no tray or straps to hold them in and I have to wait for an hour and a half before I can feed them. Not going to happen! Needless to say, we got smart and ate from the grill outside or the buffet instead. We got even smarter and went out to eat a few times as well. I had always liked Outback, but I was ready to kiss the cook when they brought me my first good meal of the trip. On the upside, none of us gained any weight, something typical of a cruise or all-inclusive resort trip, and Tucker even lost a few pounds!
Our favorite highlights of the trip:
*The pool and the awesome 8 foot shelf of water shallow enough for Roman and Capri
*The weather-80 degrees and perfect
*The beautiful surroundings-white sand and every color of turquoise water
*The nasty shower runoff water-the kids played and played in that stuff.
*All the pina coladas and strawberry daiquiris you could want
*Playing tennis with the champs
*Throwing the Christmas bows into the resort ponds. That was the kids doing that, of course.
*Trying to get into the resort ponds. Again, the kids.
*Lots and lots of playing hearts, the card game. Even better when we can give Keith the queen.
*Although the food wasn't great, we ate plenty of yummy ice cream and crepes!
*Best part-being with the fam!
All in all, a great and much needed vacation. We don't get to see the Nielson family very often and we already miss them. Thank you all so much for a splendid week!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Twas the Night Before Christmas...

Christmas was absolutely spectacular this year and I was loving the fact that I got to spend it with my entire family. It all started on Christmas Eve, probably my favorite day of the year. We do the whole ham and funeral potato dinner, yum, but the best part of the menu were my rolls and orange butter. Thank you Kelly! We had Cheri's in-laws and Tucker's parents over for dinner which made it even better, the more the merrier has always been the case with the Curtis Clan! We all played Scategories, talked, laughed a lot and hung out with the niece and nephews. Once it was time for the kiddies to go down, we put them in their Christmas jammies (a tradition that I will never let go) and started taking a few pictures. Kaleb loves the camera and kept getting in front to say "cheese" which then led Capri to actually smile for me. Hooray!

Watching Rudolph:Checking out the tree. I love this tree as my mom as kept so many of the ornaments we had growing up...even the ugly felt ones that she absolutely treasures.
The girls, Jesse, me, my mom, Cheri and Capri:
Roman hanging out with his aunt Cheri:She must be pretty entertaining!
My nephew Kaleb who is only 4 months older than the twins. Yeah for a cousin the same age!
The excitement is building!
Capri playing her favorite game of peek-a-boo behind the couch:Capri finally being cute for me. She really started to hate me with the camera in hand, but Kaleb was making her pretty jealous!Cheri and my nephew Eli all cuddled up.

Spencer wasn't up for the camera on Christmas Eve, but he couldn't help but smile once he found his Harry Potter game and Scrabble. Yes, he just turned six last month and he is an awesome Scrabble player along with Eli. These kids are crazy smart!

Unfortunately, Tucker and I had a rough night with the twins (literally up ALL night!), but all was right with the world when my nephews Spencer and Eli came in to tell me that "Santa came because we see the cookies and carrots were eaten!" The excitement was so contagious coming from these two boys that I forgot all about the lack of sleep. We took our sweet time opening presents and loved every second of it. The only thing that would have made our morning better would have been crepes served with fresh fruit and nutella. Oh wait, we had that!
Later that afternoon, Tucker and I took the kids to see Grammy and Grampy and Tanner and Drew. Again, more delicious food and more fabulous presents. Our trip to Cancun was a great gift (those pictures to come), but we enjoyed the trip even more with this little present. The Nintendo DS and the game Brain Age. Love it and seriously recommend it!

As you can see, a great couple of days and being with our fam was definitely the best part. We love you all and miss you already!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Temple Square

Part deux of my Christmas in Utah post:

Growing up, it was a must to go see the lights at Temple Square every Christmas season. They are absolutely beautiful and I love that we have this tradition in my family. We kept it alive this year even with the ridiculously cold temperature and two little ones in tow. Totally worth it!
The Nielson Fam:The Curtis Clan-we missed you Rob, Jesse and kids!My cute parents. : )The kids...yes, we are still kids. Don't you just love the height difference between Cheri and Jon? My favorite boys:
Capri and I in some dashing hats:

Monday, January 5, 2009

Winter Wonderland

Are you ready for some great posts? Let's get started!
One of the best parts about our trip to Utah was the continuous snowfall. It was so much fun for the kids to sit and stare out the window at such a foreign substance blowing in the air. Even more fun, Roman and Capri got out to play in this winter wonderland. My mother-in-law found an old snowsuit for Capri and I got a killer deal on one for Roman (thank you Smith's, who knew?), so they were set and couldn't look more like the kid on A Christmas Story. The biggest surprise, they actually loved it! I really didn't know how they were going to react to the layers of clothing, let alone this freezing cold white stuff everywhere. But as you can see, they were in heaven the entire time!Trying to make a snow angel like uncle Jon:

"This stuff is good!"Full effect of the puffiness:I love this neighborhood!Roman offering Capri some of the good stuff:Two peas in a pod...or oversized marshmallows!

Some Serious Catch Up!

I just got back from our fabulous Christmas vacations. Yes, we had two great trips-one to Utah and the other to Cancun. Needless to say, I have tons to blog about and it is coming soon...once I finish unpacking...or take a break from unpacking!